A big honor for “Big Daddy.”
Comedy megastar Adam Sandler was awarded the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor during a star-filled ceremony at Washington’s Kennedy Center Sunday night.
A lengthy list of some of his Hollywood co-stars and fellow comedy icons were in attendance, including Drew Barrymore, Jennifer Aniston, Chris Rock, Conan O’Brien, Judd Apatow, Ben Stiller, Steve Buscemi, Luis Guzmán, Dana Carvey, Rob Schneider, and David Spade.
Sandler, 56, thanked his family and friends for helping and supporting him over his multi-decade career that started with open mics and formed into million-dollar blockbuster movies.
“As I look at this goofy award, I can’t help but think that one day it just might be the weapon used to bludgeon me to death,” Sandler joked during his acceptance speech.
Sandler’s “50 First Dates” and “The Wedding Singer” co-star Drew Barrymore called him “a national treasure” when asked how she felt about him being honored for his comedy chops.
“Every award that was ever created on the planet should go to Adam,” Barrymore expressed.
Steve Buscemi, who acted alongside Sandler in films like “Mr. Deeds” and “Billy Madison,” praised the renowned comedian for his musical approach to comedy.
“His comedy songs alone deserve this reward,” Buscemi said.
Judd Apatow, who was roommates with Sandler in Los Angeles while they were kicking off their careers, never doubted that he would rise to fame as a comedy legend.
“The moment you met him, you knew Adam was going to be a big star,” Apatow shared.
Sandler began his career as a standup comic before becoming a household name as a cast member of “Saturday Night Live” from 1991 to 1996 and went on to achieve even more recognition as a funny man with a lengthy career in films with over 30 movies under his belt.
Tim Herlihy, who was Sandler’s NYU roommate and has been his longtime writing and production partner, joked the duo had made “31 motion pictures with a combined Rotten Tomatoes score of 59.”
Though movies like “The Wedding Singer,” “Big Daddy,” and “The Waterboy” struggled to resonate with movie critics, his approach to comedy is popular with fans, grossing over $3 billion worldwide.
He has also received praise for his dramatic acting in “Uncut Gems” and “Punch Drunk Love.”
Sandler’s 1996 double platinum album “What the Hell Happened to Me?” — which features the novelty Hanukkah song “The Chanukah Song” — is one of the most-sold comedy albums of all time.
“It’s just a part of my life that I never expected to happen, and it’s nice that my family and friends get to say that goofy guy Adam won a Mark Twain award,” Sandler said.
With Sandler receiving The Mark Twain Prize, he joins the ranks of fellow SNL cast members Bill Murray, Eddie Murphy, Will Farrell, Tina Fey, Billy Crystal, and Julia Louis-Dreyfus, who were previously honored for their humor.
The ceremony will be broadcast nationally on March 26.